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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

July 22nd: Mary Magdalene

1st Reading (Song 3:1-4a): The Bride says: On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves, I sought him but I did not find him. I will rise then and go about the city; in the streets and crossings I will seek him whom my heart loves. I sought him but I did not find him. The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves? I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves.

Or: 2Cor 5:14-17:

Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Responsorial Psalm: 62
R/. My soul is thirsting for you, o Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, for your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you.

Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.

You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
Versicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way? I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 20,1-2.11-18): Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. And she said to them, «They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don't know where they have laid him».

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she bent down to look inside; she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, «Woman, why are you weeping?». She answered, «Because they have taken my Lord and I don't know where they have put him». As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, «Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?». She thought it was the gardener and answered him, «Lord, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him». Jesus said to her, «Mary». She turned and said to him, «Rabboni» —which means, Master. Jesus said to her, «Do not cling to me; you see I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them: ‘I am ascending to my Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God’. So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, «I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me».

«Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate with joy Saint Mary Magdalene. With joy and benefit for our faith!, because her trail could very well be ours. Magdalene came from afar (cf. Luke 7: 36-50) and she did go very far... Indeed, at the dawn of the Resurrection, Mary looked for Jesus, found the risen Jesus and met Jesus’ Father, "Our Father". That morning, Jesus Christ discovered her the most important fact of our faith: that she was also God’s daughter.

In Mary of Magdala’s itinerary, we discover some important aspects of our faith. In the first place, we admire her courage. Though a gift from God, faith requires courage from the believer. Generally, we tend towards what we can see, what can be seized with our hand. God being essentially invisible, faith “represents the risky enterprise of accepting what plainly cannot be seen as the truly real and fundamental. It involves a leap out of the tangible world” (Benedict XVI). Mary, by seeing the risen Christ can also "see" the Father, the Lord.

On the other hand, the "leap to faith" «is reached through what the Bible calls conversion or repentance: only he who changes receives it "(Benedict XVI). Was not this Mary’s first step? Should not this also be a reiterated step in our lives?

In the conversion of Magdalene, there was much love: she did not spare any perfumes for her Love. Love!: here is another "vehicle" of faith, because we neither hear, nor see or believe whom we do not love. In John’s Gospel it clearly appears «believing is to listen and, at the same time, to see (...)». In that dawn, María Magdalena takes risks for her Love, she listens to her Love (to hear Him saying "Mary" is enough for her to recognize Him) and she meets the Father. «On the morning of Easter (...), María Magdalena, is asked to contemplate Him as He ascends to the Father, and finally to her full confession "I have seen the Lord" (Jn 20:18)» (Pope Francis).

«Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’»

Fr. Albert SOLS i Lúcia (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the festivity of St. Mary Magdalene. Youngsters usually get crazy over a movie to the point of identifying themselves with some of the characters there. We, Christians, should always be young at heart before the life of Jesus of Nazareth, and identify ourselves with this great woman, Mary of Magdala, whom the Gospel speaks to us about. She followed Jesus' path, she listened to his Word, and Christ reciprocated her by granting her the historic privilege of being the person whom Christ's feat of resurrection was first communicated to.

The evangelist says that, initially, she did not recognize him. And she took him for the gardener. But when the Lord calls her by her name: «Mary», maybe because of the peculiar way to say it, this saint woman did not doubt anymore: «She turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni’ —which means, “Master”—» (Jn 20:16). After this first meeting with Jesus, she was the first one to run out to announce it to the other disciples: «So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me’» (Jn 20:18).

Christians that, in their daily life programs, care about his relationship with Christ in the Eucharist by devoting a few instants to contemplative praying and cultivating the assiduous reading of Jesus' Gospels, will also have the privilege of hearing that personal call from the Lord. It is the same Christ who personally calls us by our name and encourages us to follow the steady path to saintliness.

«Prayer is conversation and dialogue with God: contemplation for absent-minded, certainty of what we are expecting, equal basis of honor with angels, progress and increase of goods, remission of sins, remedy for all ills, fruit of current goods and, guarantee for future goods» (St. Gregory of Nyssa).

Let us tell the Lord: —Jesus, make my friendship with you so strong and profound that, as Mary of Magdala, we know how to recognize you in my life.

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